Aly & AJ still make damn good pop music. When they returned last year with their first project in over a decade, it felt less like a comeback but rather a full arrival. The same can be said about their new single "Church," which dropped a few weeks back: the hooks are as undeniably huge as anything the Michalka sisters have offered throughout their career, but the music feels decidedly more opinionated and lived-in.
Perhaps the most seismic shift in the new material comes from the context surrounding it. It goes without saying that we're living in a totally different world than when "Potential Breakup Song" hit airwaves in 2007. Landmarks are burning, ice caps are melting, hopelessness is in abundance. Faced with a revolving door of hedonistic coping mechanisms, Aly & AJ's' proposal is a simple one: in a world that continues to rob us of sacred spaces, maybe we just have to make them for ourselves.
In their gorgeous new video for "Church," debuting today, that space is the Samuel-Novarro residence, Lloyd Wright's 1928 art deco masterpiece that's housed 90 years of Hollywood mystique. They enlisted Her Smell director Alex Ross Perry to capture what he describes as an "uneasy feeling of creeping west coast voyeurism." Speaking with The FADER, the sisters explained how the historic location shaped the video's creation:
"It felt like a place apart from the city where years could pass by unnoticed. It also felt like a place designed for those on the outside to watch those on the inside. This idea inspired the beautiful choreography done by Erin Murray for the video. Erin and Alex alongside our cinematographer Sean Conaty were able to combine their instincts to deliver this feeling of struggling within the sanctuaries we build for ourselves. This is how that feeling of struggling for and seeking redemption within a dominating framework looks to us. We're very proud to have shot this on 16mm film through the generosity of Kodak and Panavision."
"Church" will appear on Aly & AJ's new project Sanctuary, due out later this spring. Check out their upcoming tour dates below.
Thumbnail via Stephen Ringer.